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Subject:

bifid cattle vertebra

From:

"Stallibrass, Susan" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Stallibrass, Susan

Date:

Thu, 6 Sep 2007 13:49:37 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi. Bifid Bos Taurus spines do turn up occasionally for no predicted reason. 

I published one from Roman eastern England. Although there is a very slight chance that it derives from an animal imported from other parts of the Roman Empire, there is no other animal evidence for contact and there were no heavy cattle horncores either. I think it's just a chance occurrence in this case. When there are several individuals, however, then there may well be some taxonomic significance. I don't know the link with horn type.



Stallibrass, S. 1983  A bifid thoracic vertebral spine from a bovine in the Roman Fenland. J. of Archaeological Science 10: 265-266


Sue

Dr Sue Stallibrass

English Heritage Archaeological Science Adviser for North-West England,
Department of Archaeology (SACE),
Hartley Building, Brownlow Street,
University of Liverpool,
LIVERPOOL
L69 3GS

email: [log in to unmask]

direct phone: 0151 794 5046

departmental FAX: 0151 794 5057

-----Original Message-----
From: Analysis of animal remains from archaeological sites [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Veerle Linseele
Sent: 05 September 2007 09:17
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ZOOARCH] Mystery Bone

Dear all,

I am interested in the finds from sub-Saharan Africa of thoracic  
vertebra with bifurcated neural spines mentioned by Haskel Greenfield.  
Are there any publications? I have found an example myself at a site  
in northern Nigeria, but which is recent (19th century AD). As far as  
I know this is the only find for West Africa.

I was aware that the bifurcation occasionally can be found in Bos  
taurus as well, but did not know about the link with horn size,  
mentioned by Richard Meadow. Is there any literature on that? I have  
studied a burial of at least 15 individuals of longhorn cattle from  
Egypt. The date of the burial is as yet unclear. It was in a Middle  
Kingdom Cemetery but some pot sherds inside of it suggest a far more  
recent data. The skeletons seemed to be complete but were not in  
anatomical position. Of the thoracic vertebra 6 had bifid neural  
spines. I posted some pictures on Bone Commons. I am now wondering if  
the bifurcations could be related to the large horn size of the  
animals? The feature has also been mentioned by Grigson as possibly  
occurring in native African cattle.

Thanks for any remarks!

Veerle


For the Nigerian example see:
Linseele, V. (2007). Archaeofaunal remains from the past 4000 years in  
Sahelian West Africa. Domestic livestock, subsistence strategies and  
environmental changes. Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 70.  
BAR International Series 1658. Archaeopress, Oxford.


-- 
Veerle Linseele
Post-doctoral fellow
Center for Archaeological Sciences
Katholieke Universteit Leuven
Celestijnenlaan 200E
B-3001 Leuven
Belgium

tel + 32 (0) 16 32 64 13 or + 32 (0) 2 627 44 41
fax + 32 (0) 16 32 29 00

e-mail [log in to unmask]
www.archscience.be

Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm

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